A widow who was found guilty of defrauding the Accident Compensation Corporation of more than $200,000 has been granted bail while she waits for an appeal against her conviction and sentence.

Nelson woman Wendy Maree Whitehead was sentenced at the Nelson District Court in May to 10 months' home detention and 160 hours of community service after she wrongly received $213,397.87 in weekly compensation payments over a seven-year period.

She repaid the money before sentencing.

A Court of Appeal decision, released today, said Whitehead's appeal was set down for next month.


Justice Douglas White said there was no "compelling community interest reason" why the home detention sentence should continue to be served before the appeal was due to be heard.

"In the circumstances of this case I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that it would be in the interests of justice to grant Mrs Whitehead bail pending the hearing of her appeal on 15 October 2014 and to make an order suspending her sentence of home detention."

In June 1987, Whitehead's husband died in a farming accident and she was paid weekly compensation by ACC based on her late husband's income.

This was to continue until she turned 65, remarried or entered into a de facto relationship.

An ACC investigation in 2010 found she had been in a de facto relationship with a man since 2003 and stopped her compensation payments, the ruling said.